All posts by Larry Chapman

A retired educator, historian, writer, blogger, teller of tales including the occasional lie, saltwater angler, traveler, political junkie, technology geek, optimist, pessimist, wanna' be chef, and lover of independent thinkers. 2011 recipient of the Professor Irwin Corey Foremost Authority Award and resident curmudgeon of Worley Mill Rd.

Our Mystery Bird

A week or so ago a new feathered creature showed up at our suet feeders. My wife first noticed it by its song, one we had not heard before. Finally, she tracked it down and we identified it at the feeder. Our conclusion was that it was a red-headed house finch but we’ve since decided that may not be correct.

We didn’t have a good photo of the bird so on two occasions this week I sat on the deck with my best lens and found a very different creature than what we first thought was paying us a visit. This one has far more colors and is truly a bird we’ve never seen before. After lots of digging in our library of bird books, the closest thing we can find is labeled an immature summer tanager, which is a migratory species and more commonly found in South Florida and the tropics.

Continue reading Our Mystery Bird

And thou shall not commit…

It should be no secret to any of you who’ve known me long that I am an atheist. I don’t believe in a God for many reasons but none of them involve ignorance or lack of trying to understand and come to acquire faith.
I was raised a Catholic but never felt like it fit my nature. I’ve never had faith and I’ve never experienced anything of a religious or spiritual nature while sitting in a church.
I’ve also never seriously made fun of or condemned anyone of genuine and moderate faith. On the other hand, I have little use for religious extremists and hypocrites. I’ve read the Bible, the Koran, the Book of Morman, and I studied both comparative religions and the history of religions. I cannot quote very much from the Bible but I can tell you a lot about the history of it. While I don’t accept the Bible as being anything but manmade I have found things in it that have been important to me and I hope have made me a better man.
For decades I have believed that if every person simply adopted but one of the commandments and vowed to never break that one, the world would be immeasurably better. I’ve also been told by a Christian zealot that my saying and believing that would get me an express ticket on Hell’s railway.
I’m saying all of this to give myself the creds to say that what Donald Trump did in front of that Episcopal church last night while waving the Bible above his head was very offensive to me. Offensive because he knows so little about it and he makes claims about his religion that are not true. He proves himself to be guilty of violating the greatest commandment of all, thou shall not commit hypocrisy.
Oh yeah, lest we forget that rule that goes, thou shall treat others as thou would want to be treated. There’s just something golden in that phrase.

Thoughts on protest, riots, and looting

It’s been difficult for me to watch very much of the protest video because it is both disturbing and it reminds me of how little we’ve improved since the days of Bull Connor in the early 1960s. My friend and colleague, Susan Long recently remarked how she thought we’d moved further away from those days.

Continue reading Thoughts on protest, riots, and looting

A trip to Fredneck’s

Dave Shoemaker ran a survey on his Shoe:Untied blog, asking who had the best pizza in the Chillicothe area. Out of 2,500 responses, Fredneck’s of Nipgen came out the winner.

I had never heard of it so today, in need of a drive, I took the long way to Nipgen, through downtown Knockemstiff, and brought home a medium pepperoni for supper.

Here’s my take. First, it looks a lot like Donato’s pepperoni pizza. Second, it looks a lot like Big City’s pepperoni pizza. Third, it was worth the scenic drive but I don’t think I’d make the drive again just for the pizza.

I still remember my son’s response to someone who asked who had the best pizza in Greenfield. He said, “Donato’s in Court House!” But, that was before Jerry’s came to town.

Amazing Barach

My wife and I watched the Netflix documentary about Michele Obama’s memoir, Becoming, which, by the way, was excellent. One day she discussed began with her and Barach being in Charleston, SC for the funerals of nine Black-Americans who had been slain in their church by a white racist. They flew back to DC following the services and that evening a huge parade was held outside the White House in celebration of the Freedom of Marriage Act.

The front of the house had been lit up with a rainbow of colors and Michelle and one of her daughters snuck out so they could get a view of their home and the activities.

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Who writes history?

The United States Attorney General was recently criticized for justifying his actions with a supposed quote from Winston Churchill, ” History is written by the victors.” In fact, Churchill didn’t say that and the identity of who did isn’t known.

In the movie, The Report, the main character attributed the statement to Nazi Germany’s leader of the air force, Hermann Göring, but that has never been proven.

I just find it ironic that our right-wing conservative AG would possibly borrow from a  right-wing historical villain.

 

Street rodders against COVID boredom!

I don’t know what organization or individuals put this together but today for that second time in recent weeks a group of area rodders came together to tour the main streets of Greenfield in their various favorite drives.

I drove to town with Cooper the dog and together we found a place on North Washington Street to watch the parade and shoot a not too good video to share with those who couldn’t make it.

Thanks to all who played a part in making this diversion a reality.

 

Mission Accomplished, Trump Style

On May 1st I wrote a blog claiming it was time to reset the COVID-19 clocks. Trump was claiming that America would experience 50-60 thousand virus deaths by August (and he would consider that a win) and on May 1st we’d already reached 63,000 deaths. So, it made sense that we pay close attention to what the number does between May 1st and August 1st, just to see how wrong he turns out being.

Continue reading Mission Accomplished, Trump Style

Dirty words of wisdom for Democrats

It’s that time again. Time for Trae Crowder to use the tool redneck profanity to gain our attention and try to pound some sense into our heads. By the way, I was recently asked if I was a hill billy redneck. Well, I must be since I understand every dirty word Crowder uses.

Another Day to Remember

As we age we keep amassing dates we’re supposed to remember and events were not supposed to forget where we were.

May 4, 1970, is one such date. Fifty years ago today was the day Ohio’s Kent State University forever became a permanent chapter in the nation’s anti-Vietnam War history book.

It was the day when Ohio governor James Rhoades unleashed the Ohio National Guard and permitted it to use lethal military force to quell student anti-war activities on the campus of Kent State

Continue reading Another Day to Remember